Friday 24th January 2020

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Seven Rivers

January 14, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By JOE SIXPACK

A certain holy monk was taken in a dream by his guardian angel and shown a vast plain covered with many cities and men. On one side of the plain a rushing spring of water came forth from a hillside, and divided into seven clear streams, which flowed down into the plain. At the other side of the plain another fountain rushed up from a dark cave, and also spread out into seven streams.
He watched the streams that came from the cave and saw many people drinking eagerly from their waters, as the waters were sweet to taste. Soon after drinking the water, though, these people were seized with violent pains and vomiting, and many died.
“That is the plain of Self-Will,” said the angel. “And its seven poisonous streams are the seven deadly sins. Now look across the plain to where the seven rivers of life take their rise from the hill of Calvary.”
The seven rivers of life weren’t so sweet to the taste, but they had great powers. The sick who drank from them were healed, the old were being made young again, the ugly became beautiful, and in some of the rivers the dead were being brought back to life.
The seven poisonous rivers are the seven capital sins: pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth. The seven rivers coming from Calvary are the sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance (Confession), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Holy Matrimony. “The sacraments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace they signify” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1084).
All seven sacraments were instituted by Christ, and all can have their basis demonstrated in Sacred Scripture. Over succeeding weeks, we’re going to take a look at each sacrament individually. The reason I want to devote the time to this is, most of us take the sacraments for granted because we tend to forget what we were taught about them. As the old adage goes, if you don’t use it you lose it. And the sacraments are the very life-giving blood flow of the Church. Without the sacraments we’d all be doomed. They’re as important to our spiritual life and eternal life as air, food, and water are to physical life. So for this installment of the column we’ll simply look at an overview of the sacraments and all that they have in common.
All of the sacraments either give or increase sanctifying grace, depending on the sacrament and the state of one’s soul at the time of reception. Sanctifying grace is best described as “God’s life in us.” In other words, you can’t get to Heaven without sanctifying grace. If you die with the absence of sanctifying grace in your soul, you get to spend an eternity in Hell.
Sanctifying grace can’t be acquired after death in Purgatory, because there aren’t any second chances after death…and death never announces itself before it comes (unless you’re on death row). Being in possession of sanctifying grace is to be in a state of grace. Not having sanctifying grace is to be in a state of mortal sin. Being in a state of grace is absolutely necessary in order to receive Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The state of grace is ordinarily necessary for the Anointing of the Sick, if the recipient is conscious. Not being in a state of grace when receiving these sacraments is a sacrilege, which is a mortal sin that places that person in jeopardy of Hell.
The sacraments are grouped into three separate categories: the sacraments of initiation, the sacraments of reconciliation, and the sacraments of vocation. As we look at this, we can easily see the Divine Logic behind the seven sacraments.
The sacraments of initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist. They’re called sacraments of initiation because they’re the sacraments through which we begin the Christian life.
The sacraments of reconciliation are Penance and the Anointing of the Sick. They’re called sacraments of reconciliation because they reconcile us to God. The primary work of the Anointing of the Sick is to bring spiritual healing to the soul but often also the natural healing of the body.
The sacraments of vocation are Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. They’re vocational sacraments because the priestly state and the married state are lifelong vocational commitments. (Isn’t it nice to know that being married is the longest job you’ve ever had or will have?)
Some of the sacraments can only be received once: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, because they place an indelible mark (called a character) on the soul. Think of it as a sort of tattoo on your soul. This character is visible to God, His angels and saints in Heaven, and the demons. Indeed, the mark of Christ mentioned in Revelation is the character on the soul from these sacraments, as opposed to the mark of the beast mentioned in the same book.

Matter And Form

There are two elements necessary to constitute a true sacrament: matter and form. Matter is some sensible, concrete thing or action. Examples would be the water in Baptism or the bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist. Form refers to the essential words used by the minister of the sacrament. Examples here would be “This is my Body” in the Holy Eucharist, or “I absolve you from your sins” in Penance. Both the matter and the form must be used at the same time and by the same minister.
The minister of the sacrament is a person who has received from Jesus the authority to act for Him in giving that particular sacrament. The ordinary minister of a sacrament is usually a priest, which includes a bishop. Sometimes the ordinary minister can be a priest or a deacon. In Holy Orders the ordinary minister is always and only a bishop. In the case of Matrimony the ordinary minister is, believe it or not, the couple being married. There can be an extraordinary minister in the case of Baptism, but only under . . . you guessed it, extraordinary circumstances.
The effectiveness of a sacrament isn’t dependent upon the holiness of the minister. This is because the sacraments work ex opere operato; that is, by the work performed. The only limiting factor to the measure of grace Jesus imparts through a sacrament is the disposition of the person receiving the sacrament.
I try to keep this column interesting and exciting for those who have an active interest in our holy and ancient faith. I realize this installment fails to meet my goal, but this one is necessary to help the next several articles make more sense.
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

22,000 people showed up in Virginia to protest an infringement on their Constitutional rights

No buildings vandalized

No journalists attacked

No cops were harassed

Some in the media call these patriots domestic terrorists

Yet they refuse to say the same about ANTIFA

🤔

His Eminence, @cardinalrlburke will be marching for life with the @GuadalupeShrine group in #WashingtonDC this week, giving public witness to the inviolable right to life! #MarchForLife #CatholicTwitter 👶🏼👶🏻👶🏽👶🏾👶🏿🤰🏻🤰🏼🤰🏽🤰🏾🤰🏿

Load More...

Catholic parish will not host Episcopalian consecration

Richmond, Va., Jan 17, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold a bishops’s consecration at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, after an internet petition objecting to the event drew national attention. “It…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan conducting ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Brooklyn’s Bishop DiMarzio

New York City, N.Y., Jan 18, 2020 / 09:05 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, following an allegation of sexual abuse. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of Vos estis lux…Continue Reading

Theodore McCarrick has moved from Kansas friary

Denver, Colo., Jan 7, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- The disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has moved from the Kansas friary where he had been living since 2018. A spokesman for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad told CNA…Continue Reading

Vatican Archbishop: those who say Judas is in hell are ‘heretics’ and priests may ‘accompany’ assisted suicides

ROME, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a statement difficult to reconcile with Scripture and Tradition, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has claimed on behalf of the Catholic Church that anyone who says Judas Iscariot is in…Continue Reading

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone resigns after year of scandal

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Wednesday accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is…Continue Reading

Chinese bishop says Catholics must put ‘love for homeland’ first

Beijing, China, Dec 3, 2019 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made the statement during a Communist Party…Continue Reading

Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding. The Toronto Star’s…Continue Reading

Pope compares politicians who persecute gays, Jews to Hitler

Pope Francis denounced the persecution of gay people on Friday and compared public officials who stoke hatred and anti-gay sentiment to Hitler. Francis delivered his remarks at an international conference on criminal law at the Vatican City, Reuters reported. “It is…Continue Reading

7-year-old whose mom tried to ‘transition’ him chooses to attend school as a boy

DALLAS, Texas, November 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother enrolled him in kindergarten as a “girl,” has finally been able to attend school as a boy for the first time. James’ parents’ fight over whether he should…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’

Washington D.C., Oct 31, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden last Sunday. On an Oct. 31…Continue Reading

Judge blocks Alabama law banning abortions, pro-lifers plan to appeal to Supreme Court

October 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Alabama’s ban on virtually all abortions will not take effect on November 15 as planned, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In May, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama…Continue Reading

Biden denied communion at South Carolina church over abortion stance, report says

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden was reportedly denied communion by a priest at a South Carolina Catholic church over the weekend. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, stopped by Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence on Sunday, but was denied Holy Communion by Father Robert E. Morey,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

President Trump Will Attend March for Life in Person, First President Ever to Join Pro-Lifers

trump

President Donald Trump will address the March for Life on Friday in live remarks to hundreds of thousands of pro-life people attending the event from across the country. He will be the first president ever to attend the March for Life in person, having addressed the March via video previously. March for Life officials told LifeNews.com they were delighted President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person –joining half a…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland says he asked pope about McCarrick report

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, said he asked Pope Francis about the Vatican investigation into Theodore E. McCarrick and the release of a promised report on how the former cardinal managed to rise through the church ranks. The bishop, who was making his “ad limina” visit to Rome, drew widespread attention in August 2018 for a public statement saying he found “credible” the allegations made by retired Archbis

Catholic League blasts bill on clergy abuse, accuses lawmaker of trying to ‘police the sacraments of the Catholic Church’

SALT LAKE CITY — A group dedicated to defending the Catholic Church and its traditions is blasting a lawmaker for a bill that essentially removes the clergy exemption for reporting disclosures of abuse. “You are treading on dangerous territory,” Bill Donahue, the group’s president, wrote in a letter obtained by FOX 13. “When the government seeks to police the sacraments of the Catholic Church — or encroach on the tenets of a

">

Benedict XVI .: I am not co-author of Sarah’s book

Vatican City, January 14, 2020 (CAP) Benedict XVI has distanced itself from the authorship of the book on priesthood and celibacy, which Cardinal Robert Sarah published. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, told the Catholic news agency Kathpress in Rome on Tuesday that, at the request of the pope emeritus, Sarah called early Tuesday morning to ask the publisher to remove Benedict XVI’s name and picture. prompt from the book cover. The signature…Continue Reading

Advertisement3

The Facts… About The Controversial New Book By Both Cardinal Sarah And Benedict XVI

  By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf posted the following on his January 15 blog at https://wdtprs.com/. It is reprinted here with permission. Please visit his blog for the links he mentions in his text.) + + + Edward Pentin has posted at the National Catholic Register [blog dated January…Continue Reading

An NFL Owner’s Final Victory

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate, www.creators.com, distributes his column.) + + + Fr. Bill McGuire was sitting in the upper level of the press box at Kezar Stadium watching his hometown team play the Chicago Bears. Things were not going well. The 49ers fumbled…Continue Reading

Seth Meyers Likes Neo-Nazi Tactics

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented on remarks made January 13 by Seth Meyers on his NBC show.) + + + Brooklyn has been hit with a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and no one uses this as a pretext to make light of them. A Catholic church in Brooklyn was…Continue Reading

Bishop Sheen Comes To My Home Town

By DONALD DeMARCO The 1960s counterculture movement did much to undo many traditional social values, especially those regarding personal relationships and human community. It served as a kind of stage rehearsal for the 1970s, which Tom Wolfe aptly dubbed “The Me Decade.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, launched the decade which gave…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Learning The Little-Known Life Story Of Bishop Schneider

By JAMES BARESEL Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Diane Montagna, Angelico Press, 2019. Available at amazon.com. It would be all too easy for a reviewer of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age to limit himself to predictable reflections…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Focus On The Light

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 8:23-9:3 1 Cor. 1:10-13, 17 Matt. 4:12-23 In the first reading today, Isaiah tells us that “God first degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,” but then tells us everything is turned around for the people in these lands and that “the people who…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell Transferred To New Maximum-Security Prison

MELBOURNE, Australia (CNA) — George Cardinal Pell has reportedly been transferred out of the Melbourne prison in which he has been incarcerated for more than a year after a drone illegally flew over the prison grounds. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, Pell was moved out of Melbourne Assessment Prison after a drone flew over the prison garden in an…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In an effort to promote eucharistic adoration, we published the following article in our parish bulletin. Feel free to use it in your own parish. Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. These familiar words from a Christmas carol remind us of our obligation to offer adoration to the Lord. To be sure, we are also to…Continue Reading

God Wants Us To Be Great Saints

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:5-6 1 Cor. 1:1-3 John 1:29-34 In the Gospel reading today we have two statements by St. John the Baptist regarding the identity of Jesus. First, he states that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Second, he testifies that…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Parents Are The First And Best Teachers

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The option to home-school is the overwhelming trend among our traditional Catholic families. Why? They want to have larger families if able, usually more than the social minimum of two or three, out of a deep adherence to the faith and its integral practice. Tuition at Catholic schools is increasingly prohibitive under the budgetary strain…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Maria Cristina Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.” This could certainly describe the setbacks of so many saints before they finally achieved their heart’s desire. St. Maria Cristina certainly had her share of disappointments and setbacks, but she always began again. Nunc coepi. On May 1,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Henry De Osso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over the centuries, Spain has yielded many saints for the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the fourth century, St. Maginus was martyred. In the twelfth century, there was St. Raymond of Penafort. In addition, the great sixteenth-century Carmelites, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, made matchless contributions to spirituality. In the…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)